Additionally, HP plans to expand support for OpenFlow across all switches in the HP FlexNetwork architecture this year, making HP the only major networking vendor to offer a complete portfolio of OpenFlow-enabled solutions.
OpenFlow is an emerging network virtualization technology that provides customers flexibility and control to configure their networking environments to their specifications.
Deploying the OpenFlow standard enables enterprises to significantly reduce the complexity of network devices and automate tasks using simplified network management. By reducing the time it takes to make changes to the network, OpenFlow allows IT staff to better respond to changing needs in real time.
Customers and partners can now access a free upgrade to HP's OpenFlow-enabled software for their HP switches here.
"To help enterprises uniformly manage network traffic flow across the data centre, HP became an early innovator of the OpenFlow standard, supporting more than 60 universities and research centres in trials, development efforts and practical real-world applications", stated Bethany Mayer, senior vice president and general manager, Networking, HP. "With more than 10 million OpenFlow-capable switch ports deployed and the broadest portfolio currently available on the market, HP is leading the move to the OpenFlow standard and further simplifying networks for our enterprise clients."
HP switches with OpenFlow-enabled software have been deployed by academic and commercial researchers worldwide to achieve simplified management. The extensive testing and practical application of OpenFlow technology on HP switches over the last four years in these environments have helped to ready the standard for broad enterprise use.
HP partners and customers include Indiana University, Stanford University and the Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI) Project. The GENI Project, operated by Raytheon BBN Technologies and funded by the National Science Foundation, is a virtual laboratory that explores future applications and services for efficient, agile networks.
"Enterprise data centres are in the midst of a massive transformation driven by data centre consolidation, server virtualization, web-based applications and new security requirements, which our research indicates has created numerous network challenges that can't be addressed with existing legacy networks and manual processes", stated Jon Oltsik, senior principal analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group. "OpenFlow holds the promise of breaking the logjam in network flexibility as well as paving the way for network innovation in the data centre - and vendor support from companies like HP is crucial for advancing this technology in 2012."
HP is a founding member of the Open Networking Foundation, which continues to advance the OpenFlow standard in order to lower network operating costs for enterprises through simplifying hardware, software and management processes. Additionally, HP Labs - the company's central research arm - has been developing programmable networks since 2008, and has published research on evolving OpenFlow technology for broader deployment by enterprises.